Snacks / Appetizers

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>

Onion soup is a vegetable soup made of sauteed onions and stock. Onion soup was traditionally served in poorer households and lower-class restaurants.
Onion soup is, and was, found in many countries, prepared in many different variations. What all recipes have in common are the onions and stock. From there on, anything goes……….:
Added red or white wine, beer, egg yolk, flour, cream, cheese, herbs, bread, vinegar, sugar, caramelized onions, sauteed but kept-white onions, puréed onions, sliced onion, diced onions, shallots, sausages, sherry, carrots, and probably another thousand different additions, depending on where in the world you encounter your onion soup.
Names/variations include “Pfälzer Zwiebelsuppe”, “Soupe Soubise”, “Schwaebische Zwiebelsuppe”, “Cipollata”,  “Cherbah”, and countless more.
And then, of course, there is the queen of all onion soups! –
Known and loved most everywhere in the world, it is “French Onion Soup” (Soupe à l’oignon / Soupe d’oignons aux Halles/ Soupe à l’oignon gratinée)
What makes this variation so special is the addition of bread and gruyere to the top of the onion soup, then it get’s some time in the oven or under the broiler until the top is a bubbly, fragrant, addictive, gooey mass of melted bread and cheese.
Each heavenly spoonful should contain some of the bread and cheese, some soup, and some onions.
Voilà, now you know why “French Onion Soup” is the best onion soup in the world 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Onion Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>

Soupe à l’oignon gratinée (French Onion Soup)

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

>
>
>

 

>
>
>
>

Advertisements

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds


>
One
has to wonder:
Why are sweet or savory crepes not on everybody’s table at least once a week ???
I can’t recall to ever have met anybody who’d claim not to like crepes, either in its sweet or savory form, or both.
Crepes can be prepared easily by anybody, even by a child or somebody with two left hands. Even if one does not like to cook, these babies need all of a few minutes to prepare, are very economical and, have I said this already? – are easy and quick to prepare.
In its sweet, plain variation, just sprinkle some castor sugar on top and maybe a bit of whipped cream, and you have a great dessert or sweet snack.
It’s savory, plain version will make a quick meal by drizzling a bit of butter on top and serving them with a small salad on the side.
And then, you have the more elaborate stuff 🙂
Savory crepes can be filled with creamed or buttered mushrooms, vegetables, seafood, chicken, game meats, spicy sausages and a myriad of other, more or less fancy goodies.
Sweet crepes will be happy to be married to caramelized fruit, creams, chocolate sauce, puddings, cream cheese (blintzes anyone?), nutella, yogurt, nuts, etc, etc, etc.
I myself have prepared just about any combination of crepes and “stuff” under the sun. I don’t really have a favorite per se, I love ’em all 🙂
So here is a version of crepes with caramelized fruits. I have to admit that the blackberries and pomegranate are rather expensive, especially when you cook for a large family. But be assured, caramelized apples, pears, oranges, bananas, strawberries, or any other more economical fruit will be just as wonderful – yummy to taste and pretty to look at 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Pancakes  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

>

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

>

Vanilla Crepes With Caramelized Blackberries & Pomegranate Seeds

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

 

>
>
>
>

Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

>
>
>

Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

>
>

Summer has hit our little part of paradise, Florida, over the head with a vengeance.
While the first three weeks of official summer were pure liquid sunshine, with all the flooding and whatever else goes with torrential rain, now the real sunshine has finally arrived.
Alas, as usual, we all complain that it is too hot. When it rains we complain that it is too wet. Outside of summer, we complain it is too cold, and all year-long we complain about the traffic, the tourists and our mothers in law 🙂
One just can’t make us Floridians unconditionally happy, no matter what.
But the one thing that will make us feel good, at least for a while, is a BBQ by the pool.
Good, simple food, a few cold brewskies and good company and the world is fine for a few hours.
As for me, I do have good company in Bella, my brew is iced tea and Madam and I enjoy our time alone by the pool, (of course, the damn water in the pool is too warm this time of the year) 😦
But, the tranquility and peace, some great music from the boom box and wonderful food are all we need for now 🙂 .
How times have changed……..
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

>

Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits

>

Life is Good ! – Sunday Lunch By The Pool – “Grilled Shrimp Brochettes On Honey/Rum-Macerated Fruits”

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Confession Of An PT Addict

>
I confess !
I am a lifelong PT addict, ever since I was a child and my mother fed me my first dose of PT ………
I will eat PT (pig’s tails) with gusto, in whatever guise you set them before me – braised in soy sauce, salted, fried, in stews, souse, soups, or just by themselves with bread and condiments, as shown here.
For today’s lunch, one bucket of 5 lbs was the exact right amount for Bella and me to pig out (pun intended). Of course, there are a lot of bones, so the actual amount of meat is not really that excessive (well, maybe a little……).
One might call this a case of “PT Overdose” 🙂
>
>
Excerpt from an article by  Chichi Wang  on  Serious Eats :
” I want to make the case that pigs’ tails contain everything desirable in the pig, and in exactly the right proportions. Unlike ox tail, the tails of pigs come with the skin intact so that each segment is a perfect cross-section of skin, fat, tendon, and meat.
Fried or roasted, the skin of the tail is chewy and crisp, with a gelatinous layer underneath. Tail flesh is fork-tender like that of the neck bones, but meatier than trotters. There’s a modest amount of tendon around each bony hub–just enough to make the gnawing enjoyable, but not so much as to distract from the whole. All in all, a Pigs tail is a little porky universe unto itself. 
>
– Looks like I am not the only “PT Addict” 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  PT  on  ChefsOpinion
>

>

Confession Of An PT Addict

>

Confession Of An PT Addict

>

serve with fresh pretzel bread (laugenstangen), hot and mild chilies and mustard (or fresh horseradish if available)

>

Confession Of An PT Addict

a bucket of heaven……

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

>
>
>
>

Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

X
>
I usually don’t participate in spreading nonsense like “Rösti-Waffles”, but this is different. When I saw this the first time, I thought – why?! – this got to be just another silly way of trying to be “inventive” and/or “different”, or “cutting edge”, or whatever.
But, I tried it nevertheless. Instantly, I became a big fan! 🙂
I am probably the biggest non-Swiss fan of rösti, however, these rösti-waffles are a completely different potato dish.
Using a non-stick waffle iron, one needs to use only a thin film of clarified butter or duck fat. Then, to keep the potatoes light and crisp, loosely fill in just a small amount of shredded, seasoned potato (compared to the amount one would use for the same size “real” rösti in a pan), cook on low heat until the resulting dish resembles a thinly spun web of tender yet crispy potatoes.
Very different from rösti in texture, but at least as delicious 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Rösti on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for  Gravlax Recipe  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
P.S.
This dish can, of course, be enjoyed any time of day. I had it for breakfast, so I omitted the onion rings I’d usually serve with this 🙂
>
>

Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

>

Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg

>

Rösti-Waffles, Gravlax And Poached Egg with capers and finely sliced chives

>

rösti-waffle should be very crisp on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside; this recipe makes 8 ea rösti-waffles


>

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

 

>
>
>
>

Enjoy A Super-Delicious Dish For $ 1.00 !

Chicken Liver Mousse

>

No, this was not at a hawker cart in Singapore, nor was it on the side of the road in Manila, it was not in the bush in Zanzibar and certainly not on the beach in Goa. This was in Miami, at “Chez Bella”.
All the ingredients for 4 portions came to about $ 4.00, which, yes, I carefully and meticulously calculated it, comes to about a buck a portion. 🙂
In all my years living in America,  I have realized that the majority of Americans say they don’t like liver or any other dish prepared with offal. However, serve them a slice of “Foie Gras” in a fancy restaurant where they are too shy to ask what they are being served, and all of a sudden you get all ahhh’s and ohhh’s. And it’s usually the same with chicken liver mousse, terrine or pate. Serve it on little canapes, put a cherry or grape on top and all of a sudden it becomes great.
Speaking of chicken liver mousse and parfait. Sadly, most of what’s being served in restaurants these days can at best be described as utter garbage. I know, because I love chicken liver mousse and have tried it a hundred times, in fact, I almost always order it if I come across it on a menu. Low-quality liver, too many distracting ingredients, overseasoned, underseasoned, grainy, broken, too long in the fridge, off-putting color, you name it.
So then, for those of my readers who share the love with me, I give you a recipe which is pretty much foolproof, as long as you use top quality liver.
Of course, you can use this recipe to make any other liver mousse. Pork liver, veal liver, duck liver, game liver. You can also, if you must, add a few additional flavors, as long as you take it easy and don’t overpower the fine taste of the liver. Armaniac, calvados, grand marnier, cognac, diced apples, garlic, herbs, sauteed shallots, orange essence, etc. You can even call it a parfait if you want to, since this recipe provides a mousse so fine, it appears to have been strained through a fine hair sieve.
All in all, a spectacular tasty dish, easy to prepare, cheap economical, and definitely better than most of the stuff you can buy ready-made or in most restaurants.
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Liver  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>

P.S.
This amount of mousse serves 4 main courses or 8-12 snacks/appetizers
>
>
>

Chicken Liver Mousse

>

Chicken Liver Mousse

>

Chicken Liver Mousse

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>

 

 

>
.
>
>

Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

 

Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

Here we have the perfect breakfast for dog owners (and everybody else who loves a great breakfast and can wait awhile before breakfast is ready,) 🙂
Once the prep has been done (you can do this the previous evening), just put the wrap into the oven (hot or cold), turn to 375F and walk your dog.
Make sure you are back before the hour is over and you will be rewarded with a perfect breakfast). Generally, the egg inside will take about 35 minutes for a “sunny side up” texture, while additional time spent in the heat will obviously take the egg to the next level of doneness. This doneness will depend on various factors, such as the thickness of the wrap, the thickness of the ham and tomato, the amount of cheese and /or other fillings, and so forth.
When I made this dish the first time a few years back, I took it out of the oven WAY too early, not realizing how much time the egg actually takes to cook inside all these layers. However, if you like this dish, take some notes about the time and temperature you use in order to get it right on future occasions.
Also, and this is even more important, chose a wrap which suits this preparation. If you select the wrong one, the shell will become dry and tough after it’s considerable time in the oven. But if you find the right one (see the pic below for an example), the wrap becomes wonderfully flaky, almost like a puff pastry, as is clearly visible in the pics of the cut wrap 🙂 . The reason why I use two wraps per pocket is that the (RIGHT) wraps add a great flakiness one would not get with a single layer (there is a lot of moisture inside).
I also like to emphasize the importance of the grated parmesan cheese between the moist layers to help keep a proper texture, (you don’t want a soggy mess !) and the importance of brushing the wrap generously with whole butter before baking, both for taste and texture.
As for the sauce, I love to serve this with sweet Thai chili sauce or a honey/herb yogurt. Again – serve it with whatever makes YOU happy ! 🙂
Of course, as with most of the food I publish on my blog,  I recommend using this dish as an inspiration for your very own variations of a baked wrap. I have prepared them with seafood, ground meat, chicken, veggies, with or without cheese, with or without eggs, etc. ( one of my favorites is tomato, onion, sauteed spinach, and brie). Also, although I have this usually for breakfast, it makes a great snack or meal any time during the day or evening.

Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Wraps  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for 61 more  Breakfast of Champions  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>

>

Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

>

Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

>

Breakfast Of Champions # 62 – Baked Breakfast Wrap

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>>

 

>
>
>
>

Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice

Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice

>
This is one of these dishes which, at least in my humble opinion, actually benefits from the usage of smaller shrimp, compared to the larger shrimp we usually prefer for a great dish. While you can make a perfectly wonderful fried rice with large shrimp, the smaller ones can be used in abundance for the same price as a few large ones will cost. The mouth-feel is just better when the ratio of shrimp to rice is 50/50 🙂
In the past, when the only shrimp available to me were large ones, I actually cut them into smaller pieces to get that specific mouth-feel. (For a more impressive presentation, you can always put a few uncut  biggies on the top) 🙂
I enjoyed today’s fried rice as my breakfast, although it is an appropriate meal for any time of the day. I love rice for breakfast, usually in the form of congee with whatever is available, a tasty rice bowl (with whatever is available) or, as today, fried rice (with whatever is available) 🙂
“Whatever is available” can range from meats, seafood, fresh or pickled vegetables, eggs of any type, or – you guessed it – whatever else is in the fridge, freezer or cupboard 🙂
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for more  Rice  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

to serve, sprinkle with more scallion, add fried shallots and pickled mild chillies

>

Shrimp & Egg Fried Rice

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
>
>

Best ! Ribs ! Ever !

Best ! Ribs ! Ever !

>
Here is a rib recipe that will take your Memorial Day BBQ (or any other BBQ day) to the highest level 🙂
While the marinade consists of a whole bunch of ingredients, there is nothing exotic or unusual about them and most of us who like to cook have these sauces/seasonings already in their cupboard. If not, just buy small amounts so you have no waste.
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
P.S.
If you like to cook the ribs outside on the grill, follow the same procedure as outlined below, but once they are tender from cooking them sealed in the pan on the grill, remove them from the braising pan and cook them on both sides on a very low-heat grill for another 30 minutes or so, until the ribs have nicely caramelized but are not burned 🙂
>
>
Click here for more  Ribs  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Best ! Ribs ! Ever !

>

Best ! Ribs ! Ever !

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
>
>

Spinach Wrap With Smoked Spicy Sausage, Coleslaw And Black Beans

Before  I started this post today, I googled “Wrap”, to see some comparison to what I had prepared for dinner.
To tell you the truth, almost all of them, especially the ones from food chains, look absolutely gorgeous – well balanced with equal amounts of protein, lettuce and other “Stuff” 🙂
The problem???
Almost all these wraps are very different from the real thing you can purchase in restaurants and deli’s. While there are a few exceptions, most commercial places serve you these monster wraps, huge and beautiful to look at. But upon closer inspection, one finds mostly shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes, sprinkled sparsely with the other ingredients listed on the menu. Even when there seems to be a lot of the goodies, the maker of the wrap usually places most of the goodies in the very center of the wrap, so when it is cut for presentation, it shows an abundance of it at the displayed center cut, while the rest of the roll contains mostly the cheap shredded lettuce. This would not be such a problem if the prices would not be so outrageous for what is actually being served (mostly lettuce) 😦
Good restaurants are usually an altogether different animal, although many serve you the same “lettuce wrap with a bit of other stuff”.
By now you will know what’s the solution – yep, make your own and pack it with the good stuff ! 🙂
Here we go:
>
Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
>
>
Click here for more  Wraps  on  ChefsOpinion
>
Click here for more  Sausage  on  ChefsOpinion
>
>
>

Spinach Wrap With Smoked Spicy Sausage, Coleslaw And Black Beans

>

Spinach Wrap With Smoked Spicy Sausage, Coleslaw And Black Beans

>

Spinach Wrap With Smoked Spicy Sausage, Coleslaw And Black Beans

>
>
>
Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
>
>
>


>
>
>
>
>